Anna Funder wins the 2012 Miles Franklin Literary Award
Debut novelist awarded Australia’s most prestigious literary prize for her novel, All That I Am
“Inspired by interviews and memoirs of those who resisted the Third Reich from the beginning, Funder’s novel is shaped by the flawed memories and recollections of its two narrators, Ruth and Toller, who survive to bear witness. In this way the novel is both a testimony to those who led the resistance to Nazism, and a reflection on the limited ways that fiction and history can represent the traumatic past and do justice to its victims,” said Prof Gillian Whitlock, Australian Research Council Professorial Fellow at the University of Queensland speaking on behalf of the 2012 judging panel.
RRP: $22.95 Paperback
'Pure' by Andrew Miller wins the 2011 Costa Book of the Year
Novelist Andrew Miller has won the 2011 Costa Book of the Year, his first major literary award, for his sixth novel, Pure. Set in pre-revolutionary Paris in 1785, Pure is the story of Jean-Baptiste Baratte, an ambitious young engineer, who is assigned the task of emptying the noxious, overflowing Parisian cemetery Les Innocents, and of demolishing its church.
A year of bones, of grave-dirt, relentless work. Of mummified corpses and chanting priests.A year of rape, suicide, sudden death. Of friendship too. Of desire. Of love...
A year unlike any other he has lived. Deep in the heart of Paris, its oldest cemetery is, by 1785, overflowing, tainting the very breath of those who live nearby. Into their midst comes Jean-Baptiste Baratte, a young, provincial engineer charged by the king with demolishing it. At first Baratte sees this as a chance to clear the burden of history, a fitting task for a modern man of reason. But before long, he begins to suspect that the destruction of the cemetery might be a prelude to his own.
RRP $23.00 Paperback
Julian Barnes wins Man Booker Prize
After being shortlisted 3 times previously, author Julian Barnes has finally been awarded the much sought after Man Booker Prize for his novel 'The Sense of an Ending'.
Accepting the prize, Barnes reportedly said "Those of you who have seen my book, whatever you think of its contents, will probably agree it is a beautiful object. And if the physical book, as we've come to call it, is to resist the challenge of the ebook, it has to look like something worth buying, worth keeping."
The novel tells the story of how memory can be mutable, how we are able to shift perception to suit our needs and how this can all come crashing down when challenged.
RRP: $29.95 HB
Kim Scott wins prestigious Miles Franklin
West Australian aboriginal author Kim Scott has won this year's Miles Franklin literary award with his novel 'That Deadman Dance'.
Kim Scott, from the Noongar country on the south-east coast of Western Australia, is also the author of True Country and is based in Fremantle.
He says the future is promising for Indigenous Australians.
"As an Indigenous writer I think there is such enormous potential and promise in front of us... there's a lot happening around the country and there are enormous things to move forward towards," he said.
That Deadman Dance is a historical novel, set around the time of white settlement in Australia.
Told through the eyes of black and white, young and old, this is a story about a fledgling Western Australian community in the early 1800s known as the 'friendly frontier'. Poetic, warm-hearted and bold, it is a story which shows that first contact did not have to lead to war. It is a story for our times.
RRP: $23.00 PB $50.00 HB
Literary Giant Philip Roth wins Man Booker International Prize 2011
Philip Roth is one of the world's most prolific, celebrated - and controversial - writers. Born in March 1933 in New Jersey, Roth is best known for his 1969 novel Portnoy's Complaint, and for his late-1990s trilogy comprising the Pulitzer Prize-winning American Pastoral (1997), I Married a Communist (1998), and The Human Stain (2000).
'In Roth’s world, to be human is to have the “human stain,” is to get things wrong, to get people wrong, to make mistakes, to have a sexual body, to be messy and vital...Roth has been the great stealth postmodernist of American letters, able to have his cake and eat it without any evidence of crumbs. He is intensely interested in fabrication, in the performance of the self, in the reality that we make up in order to live. He swims through depthless skepticism toward a series of questions that are gravely metaphysical, and more Jamesian than Pynchonian: How much of any self is pure invention? Isn’t such invention as real to us as reality? But then how much reality can we bear? Fiction, for Roth, is not what Plato thought mimesis was: an imitation of an imitation. Fiction is a rival life, a “counterlife,” to use the title of one of Roth’s greatest novels, and this is why his work has managed so brilliantly the paradox of being at once playfully artful and seriously real.'
- James Wood
WINNER 2010 IMPAC Award 'The Twin' by Gerbrand Bakker RRP $29.95
When Henk's twin brother dies in a car accident, Helmer is obliged to return to the small family farm. He resigns himself to taking over his brother's role and spending the rest of his days 'with his head under a cow'. After his old, worn-out father has been transferred upstairs, Helmer sets about furnishing the rest of the house according to his own minimal preferences. "A double bed and a duvet," advises Ada, who lives next door, with a sly look. Then Riet appears, the woman once engaged to his twin. Could Riet and her son live with him for a while, on the farm? The Twin is an ode to the platteland, the flat and bleak Dutch countryside with its ditches and its cows and its endless grey skies. Ostensibly a novel about the countryside, as seen through the eyes of a farmer, The Twin is, in the end, about the possibility or impossibility of taking life into one's own hands. It chronicles a way of life that has resisted modernity, is culturally apart, and yet riven with a kind of romantic longing.
WINNER 2009 Booker Prize 'Wolf Hall' by Hilary Mantel RRP $33
From one of our finest living writers, WOLF HALL that very rare thing: a truly great English novel, one that explores the intersection of individual psychology and wider politics. With a vast array of characters, and richly overflowing with incident, it peels back history to show us Tudor England as a half-made society, moulding itself with great passion and suffering and courage.
′Hilary Mantel enchants with the energy and force of her prose′ THE AGE
The shortlist for the 2009 Booker Prize included:
* The Childrens Book A.S. BYATT
* Summertime J.M. COETZEE
* The Glass Room SIMON MAWER
* The Little Stranger SARAH WATERS
WINNER 2009 Prime Minister's Award for Fiction 'The Boat' by Nam Le
WINNER 2009 Prime Minister's Award for Non-Fiction
'House of Exile: The Life and Times of Heinrich Mann and Nelly Kroeger-Mann
In 1933 the prominent author and political activist Heinrich Mann and his partner Nelly Kroeger were forced to flee Germany, finding refuge in France and later, in great despair, Los Angeles. There Nelly committed suicide in 1944 and Heinrich dies in 1950. Prior to their death they formed a unique clique of friends in exile, crossing paths with the likes of Joyce, Brecht, Kafka, Schwitters and Woolf. House of Exile is a unique work, pioneering a new literary form - the collective biography. This book is a must for all interested in the literary landscape of the 20th century and those with interest in the Bloomsbury, Algonquin set.
WINNER 2009 UK Forward Poetry Prize 'Striped World' by Emma Jones
The poems in this debut collection by Australian poet Emma Jones sweep between old worlds and new, seeking the lost and recovering the found among shipwrecks, underwater zoos and discovered lands. Jones brings her inventive worlds dramatically to life in a series of vividly distilled meetings - of settlers and indigenous peoples, of seawaters and shore, of humanity and the wilds of nature. Here, tigers stalk the captive and the free, while Death encounters his own double and Daphne tells of her new leaves, 'They sing, and make the world.' The same might be said of the poems themselves in this restless and memorable search for belonging.
2009 MILES FRANKLIN AWARD...The winner is 'BREATH' by TIM WINTON.
Highly regarded local author Tim Winton has won Australia's most prestigious literary award. He is a multiple winner of the Miles Franklin, having won it previously for his novels 'Cloudstreet' and 'Dirt Music'.
2008 WOLFSON HISTORY PRIZE
Established in 1972, the Wolfson History Prize is given annually, usually for two exceptional works published during the calendar year. The 2008 winners were recently announced and we are thrilled that Mary Beard's Pompeii: The Life of a Roman Town has been recognised for this prestigious award.
NSW Premier's Literary Awards Christina Stead Prize for Fiction:
Beloved local author Joan London
has won this award for her novel The Good Parents
Other winners this year include Nam Le
's The Boat
- dual award winner of the Book of the Year Award and New Writing Award and Chloe Hooper
's The Tall Man
for Non-Fiction. For more awards and information click here
WINNER of the 2009 Orange Prize for Fiction is 'Home' by Marilynne Robinson. This prize is awarded to the best judged full-length novel written by a female author and was first awarded in 1996. To read more about it see this website: Orange Prize
The Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
was won on April 20, 2009 by Elizabeth Strout
with her novel, Olive Kitteridge
. Strout beat a pack of literary heavyweights, including Philip Roth, John Updike, Toni Morrison, Annie Proulx, Jhumpa Lahiri, and the hot favorite Marilynne Robinson.
Strout was raised in small communities in New Hampshire and Maine, USA. The Pulitzer judges said the book "packs a cumulative emotional wallop, bound together by polished prose and by Olive, the title character, blunt, flawed and fascinating." (thanks to abebooks.com)
MAN BOOKER PRIZE
Originally founded as the Booker-McConnell Prize in 1968, the Man Booker Prize is awarded for the best original full length novel.
'Wolf Hall' by Hilary Mantel
'The White Tiger' by Aravind Adiga
'The Gathering' by Anne Enright
'The Inheritance of Loss' by Kiran Desai
'The Sea' by John Banville
'The Line of Beauty' by Alan Hollinghurst
'Vernon God Little' by DBC Pierre
'Life of Pi' by Yann Martel
'True History of the Kelly Gang' by Peter Carey
'The Blind Assassin' by Margaret Atwood
SAMUEL JOHNSON PRIZE
Founded in 1999, the Samuel Johnson prize is one of the most prestigious prizes for non-fiction writing.
'Leviathan' by Philip Hoare
'The Suspicions of Mr Whicher or The Murder at Road Hill House' by Kate Summerscale
'Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq's Green Zone' by Rajiv Chandrasekaran
'1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare' by James S. Shapiro
'Like A Fiery Elephant: The Story of B. S. Johnson' by Jonathan Coe
'Stasiland' by Anna Funder
'Pushkin' by T.J. Binyon
'Peacemakers: The Paris Peace Conference of 1919 and Its Attempt to End War' by Margaret MacMillan
'The Third Reich' by Michael Burleigh
'Berlioz: Volume 2' by David Cairns